Longtime residents of the Springfield area will recall the Concordia Theological Seminary. For about 100 years, it taught those who would become leaders of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The seminary moved to Indiana in 1975.
Today, the Department of Corrections uses the buildings for training. The site also housed what was once known as Illinois State University, during Abraham Lincoln's time.
A study determined that six Illinois nuclear power plants logged hundreds of safety violations from 2000 through 2012, most of them considered low-level. The Government Accounting Office report, based on Nuclear Regulatory Commission figures, shows the number safety violations at nuclear plants across the country vary dramatically from region to region. Illinois plants, with 11 reactors, had 1,118 violations, 17 of them considered high-level. By contrast, there were 1,885 mostly low-level violations in the Southeast region, home to 33 reactors.
Gov. Pat Quinn has $2.9 million in his 2014 campaign fund - more than all four of his Republican rivals combined.
Reports filed with the state late Tuesday show the Chicago Democrat raised about $813,000 during the three-month period ending Sept. 30. He has no major challenger in the March primary since Bill Daley abandoned his bid.
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says he's monitoring the debt ceiling showdown in Washington and the impact that it could have on the state's finances.
Congress is still searching for deal that would raise the country's cap to borrow more money in order to pay its bills. The government has been partially shut down for weeks as Democrats and Republicans haggle over spending.
Gov. Pat Quinn speaks to leading Democrats in September as he seeks the state party's endorsement in his campaign for re-election; critics say the governor has been concerned about politics, rather than policy, when it comes to pensions -- for example by stripping legislators of their salaries as punishment for not passing a bill, even as he was absent from negotiations.
Governor Pat Quinn went months without meeting with members of the special legislative committee formed to draft a new pension plan, but this month he has begun to reach out.
It was Quinn's idea to form a conference committee, to bridge differences between the House and Senate over how to reduce Illinois' $100 billion pension debt.
But the ten members of that panel say other than phone calls welcoming them to the committee, he was absent from their talks from June on, leading to criticisms like this, from Rep. Jil Tracy, a Republican from Quincy.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says the state's pension problem could be addressed in the fall legislative session even if a committee working on it remains split. The Chicago Democrat tells The Associated Press in an interview that lawmakers could bypass the committee and call a vote through another legislative route. An AP survey found that five of the pension committee's 10 members still had concerns with a proposed $138 billion savings plan. The Legislature cannot consider a committee proposal unless it is signed by six members.
A Springfield artist known for his murals is hoping to embark on a journey across the country, Illinois to LA - painting over 10 murals along the way. His rendering of a young Abe Lincoln adorns the side of a restaurant and bar in downtown Springfield, and Mike Mayosky hopes to share his work with cities along the rest of Route 66. Furthermore, he's hoping to try his hand at documentary film-making with a production about the journey. He joined us to talk about that proposal and what inspired it:
The ten members of the bipartisan, bicameral conference committee formed to come up with a pension package gather in Chicago in July, for one of the panel's few public meetings. Gov. Pat Quinn did not attend.
As he runs for re-election, Gov. Pat Quinn is staking a lot on getting something done with pensions. He making a show of asking the state Supreme Court let him cancel legislators' salaries until it's done, and he says he won't deal with other major issues before the General Assembly -- like using tax credits to keep ADM headquartered in Illinois -- until there's what he calls a "comprehensive pension solution." But it's hard to tell just what that means. Most of the ten legislators he tasked with crafting that solution don't even seem to know. They say he's been largely absent ...
A huge new rail yard has been buzzing on the outskirts of Decatur, Ill. Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) recently opened the 275-acre facility that would be at home at any major port city on the coast. But it’s in the heart of Illinois farm country because farmers have been taking advantage of a new method of shipping out their products.
The Illinois Legislature's fall veto session is just a week away, but a committee tasked with the solving the state's enormous pension problem is divided. An Associated Press survey of the 10-member committee found five Democrats support a plan that would save the state $138 billion over 30 years. The other half consists of four Republicans and one Democrat. They say they have major concerns about the proposal. The Legislature cannot consider the proposal unless it's signed by six committee members.
Shoppers in Illinois and 16 other states should be able to use their debit-style food stamp cards after vendor Xerox Corp. restored service following a system outage. Januari Smith is spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services. She says people in Illinois began reporting problems using their LINK cards Saturday morning.
Next week, Illinois lawmakers could consider mandatory prison sentences for people charged with illegal gun possession. Supporters say it would help reduce violent crime in places like Chicago and East St. Louis. But a prominent gun-rights group is opposed to the change.
In places where shootings are a big problem, some politicians and prosecutors want a three-year minimum sentence for gun crimes.
But the National Rifle Association worries lawful gun owners could be caught up under the proposal.
Rep. Mike Zalewski, a Democrat from Riverside, sits on the pension conference committee. "There's some concern over ... frankly whether pension systems should get in the business of the market... and philosophically do we really want to go down this road when there's members of these systems that believe all we need to do is make our payment, rightfully so," he says of defined contribution plans.
With an eye toward reaching an agreement in time for the upcoming veto session, legislators on a special pension committee met Friday in Chicago. The conversations focused on giving state employees and teachers a new style of retirement plan.
Lincoln Memorial Garden & Nature Center may well be Springfield's most celebrated destination for nature-enthusiasts. With over 100 acres of wilderness and trails, it provides a serene landscape along Lake Springfield for residents and tourists to soak in some sun and fresh air, free of charge.
Archer Daniels Midland is on the lookout for a new home for its world headquarters. And it's not being limited to the midwest. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports ADM leaders met with Atlanta officials.
ADM has said it won't comment on sites in the running. Other reports this week has the company looking at Minneapolis. Chicago and St. Louis have also been mentioned as possibilities.
Gov. Pat Quinn is granting 65 clemency petitions and denying 124 while working through a backlog of pardon requests.
The Democrat announced Friday he had acted on 189 requests on dockets dating to 2004. His predecessor, the impeached and now-imprisoned Rod Blagojevich, notoriously let clemency petitions pile up.
Among those granted pardons Friday _ typically with a criminal record being wiped clean _ were an armed robber; several convicted of battery, including domestic battery; several convicted of unlawful use of weapon; illicit
This week's topics include gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner's choice for his Lt. Governor running mate, the state deal with Amtrak to keep shorter-run rail lines running, and new license requirements for all-terrain-vehicles.
Allie Kral was the most visible member of the group Cornmeal - a popular blue-grass jam band from Chicago, but she recently left the group to pursue other interests. Trained as a classical violinist, Kral has a unique style and she's widely regarded as one of the best fiddle players in the nation. She plays on Saturday in Springfield at Donnie's Homespun with the band Hot Buttered Rum.
Do you have an idea to show off the history of your community or a special location? The Sangamon County Historical Society is offering to give money to local projects that create interest in the history of the county. An online application is available for the grants of up to $1,000. Roger Whitaker is President of the Society. Speaking on WUIS' Illinois Edition, he says the group has already helped other projects become a reality:
Millikin University in Decatur has a new president. Trustees at the school hired interim president Patrick White to take the post permanently. He began working in the interim position in July. The 64-year-old succeeds Rich Dunsworth, who also held the interim job after Harold Jeffcoat retired in January. White had worked as president of Wabash College in Indiana and says he's excited to make the Millikin position permanent.
State Senator Andy Manar (D - Bunker Hill) is in his first term serving the 48th District. It stretches from Springfield and Decatur south into Madison County.
Before he was elected, Manar spent time as Chief of Staff to Senate President John Cullerton and served as Chairman of the Macoupin County Board.
Manar sat down with WUIS' Sean Crawford to talk about some of the issues facing state government, including public pensions, tax incentives for ADM, education funding and how he was considered as a possible running mate to former gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley:
Lanphier High School is in the final year of a three year grant to help students improve. Among the things they've done as part of the program is extending the school day and adding ACT practice exams and tutoring for students. However, board member Judy Johnson made Lanphier faculty bristle when she questioned why math scores dropped, while the scores for white students improved during a recent school board meeting.
Is it worth it to leave one state for another due to taxes? The National Center for Policy Analysis, a non partisan public policy research group, developed a way to help you determine the answer. It's an online state tax calculator. Pam Villareal is a senior fellow for the Center. She spoke with WUIS' Sean Crawford:
A new gallery in Springfield, called the "DEMO Project" is run by artists and aims to bring alternative contemporary works to the community. Located on the Springfield Art Association's campus in the Enos park neighborhood - the gallery will welcome artist Kathleen Scott with a reception on Friday night from 6 to 9. Scott's work is an installation utilizing paper cutting, stop-motion animation, and her own original music.